Why doctors keep prescribing antibiotics for virus infections?

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Despite years of warnings, doctors still overprescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infections even though most are caused by viruses that those drugs cannot help.
Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness, and inappropriate prescribing is one factor. Repeated exposure can lead germs to become resistant to the drugs. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S.
Another reason not to use antibiotics unnecessarily: side effects. Antibiotics are implicated in 1 of 5 emergency-room visits for bad drug reactions, CDC says. Particularly troubling is an increase in severe diarrhea caused by C-diff, the Clostridium difficile bug that can take hold in the gut after antibiotics kill off other bacteria.

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This is common case everywhere. But why doctors keep doing this?
 
I've been wondering about this since a long time, too. I have no idea, not the faintest, because a person who stuedied medicine must know that antibiotics won't help and the each prescription of antibiotics has a slight chance to build up resitences in some line of bacteria.

It really puzzles me that poeple who knows this (prescription is useless and even problematic), still do it.

PS: They better prescribe placebos. Those are guaranteed not harmful and will have at least as much positive effect than the antibiotics, without the side-effects.
 
This is common case everywhere. But why doctors keep doing this?
Several reasons.
1) Patient demands. Often parents demand antibiotics for their children, and threaten all kinds of things (like legal action) if they don't get them.
2) Prophylactic. In high risk patients doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics to treat serious viral infections to prevent secondary infections.
3) Misdiagnosis or unclear diagnosis. If it is possibly bacterial, a doctor may go with an antibiotic on the "better safe than sorry" principle.
 
Several reasons.
1) Patient demands. Often parents demand antibiotics for their children, and threaten all kinds of things (like legal action) if they don't get them.
2) Prophylactic. In high risk patients doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics to treat serious viral infections to prevent secondary infections.
3) Misdiagnosis or unclear diagnosis. If it is possibly bacterial, a doctor may go with an antibiotic on the "better safe than sorry" principle.

I believe in 2 and 3. Reason one seems to be dependent on the country. Over here, it definitely is close to imposible to threaten a medic with legal action this way. The only way to threaten them would be some sort of violence, which is clearly illegal.
 
I believe in 2 and 3. Reason one seems to be dependent on the country. Over here, it definitely is close to imposible to threaten a medic with legal action this way. The only way to threaten them would be some sort of violence, which is clearly illegal.
Most of the time the threat isn't with legal action OR violence. It's more "I am not leaving this office until you give me antibiotics to help my child!" Sometimes they escalate past that.
 
It can't hurt (the individual)(very much) and it might help. Testing is tedious and expensive, and you might be well by the time they determine if it's a virus or bacterial.
 
Most of the time the threat isn't with legal action OR violence. It's more "I am not leaving this office until you give me antibiotics to help my child!" Sometimes they escalate past that.

Passive violence, I see. Yes, that kind of pressure sounds likely to me, too.
 
In the USA, corporations in the pharmaceutical industry pay enormous fees to advertise their drugs on television. In fact (in my opinion) some of the best-crafted work on TV can be found in drug commercials. Even though fully half of the dialog is a long list of the potential bad side effects (sometimes even fatal!) people demand the new drug the next time they see their doctor.
 
New genetic test that distinguishes between viral and bacterial infections could eventually stop the over prescription of antibiotics

Fevers are a common symptom of many infectious diseases, but it can be difficult to tell whether viruses or bacteria are the cause. By measuring gene activity in the blood of 22 sick children, Gregory Storch, a pediatrician and infectious disease researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues were able to distinguish bacteria-sparked fevers from ones kindled by viruses. The activity of hundreds of genes changed as the children’s immune systems responded to the pathogens, but the team found that gauging the response of just 18 genes could correctly distinguish between viral and bacterial infections about 90 percent of the time. The gene activity test could also determine, for viral infections, which specific microbes caused the illness.
Storch’s technique isn’t ready for the clinic; for one thing, it takes days to do the assay and doctors need answers much sooner. But Storch says he’s working to develop a test that could be used in hospitals and doctor’s offices, which is certainly a step toward improving diagnosis.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/genetic-test-fingers-viral-bacterial-infections
 
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